While some people spend Sunday evenings meal prepping or mentally preparing for the week ahead, about 30 participants of Karin Larsen’s Aromatherapy, Yoga Nidra and Sound Bath class at Oasis Fitness in Hollister spend time slowing the mind and absorbing sound vibrations.
“Yoga is that connection of body, mind and spirit,” Larsen said. “This is a time to connect with yourself. The yoga nidra brings you down into a deep level of relaxation. Once I bring them out of the yoga nidra I play the sound baths.”
As participants laid on their mats listening to the resonant ringing sounds of “singing” bowls, one could imagine wind chimes swaying or church bells chiming on the hour.
“You are bathed in sound,” Larsen said. “Then it’s just deep, relaxed breathing and letting the sound vibrate all around.”
Though Larsen has used singing bowls in the past, her April 28 practice included extra time with the sound baths to create a more calming, meditative state.
“In the past I would bring my metal singing bowls and just do a little bit. But now I am bringing my crystal singing bowls, my metal singing bowls, and chimes,” she said.
At the start of the yoga nidra practice, Larsen offered each participant one of two aromatherapy blends to rub into the palms of their hands, Stress Away or Grounding.
Stress Away is “specially formulated to help relieve everyday stresses and tensions so that you can sleep better at night and live a healthier and happier life,” Larsen said. Grounding “may help to stabilize us in order to deal with reality in a logical, peaceful manner.”
Larsen talked about why the practice is beneficial and the importance of learning to de-stress and prioritize self-care.
“Stress is a killer,” she said. “A benefit of nidra is that it reduces stress hormones. One hour of nidra is equal to four hours of sleep.”
While many yoga practices include fluid movements and stretches, nidra yoga mostly involves laying in a comfortable position for an extended time while the instructor guides them into a relaxed, meditative state.
“If you are working on something to change, that is your sankalpa,” Larsen said. “We are paying attention to our intention.”